@TedDavis, @Art, @Jordan, and @NLENTS, you might want to see this. This exchange, and the misses here, exemplifies how and why we need to do better for african american students on evolution education.
One of the most common rebuttals to someone who rejects evolution is that most scientists — 98 percent is a common number on polls — accept evolution. But considering only 28 percent of Black Americans have a “great deal” of confidence in scientific leaders, according to a 2018 study by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, it may be that scientific consensus doesn’t matter.
“That’s the same thing as asking them, ‘Do you trust white people?’” Graves said. “… If I show up as a scientist, I guarantee the trust factor would change. For the vast majority of these communities, they’ve never seen a person of African descent in a leading role in science.”
First, the way the headline is written, it overplays the role of socially-defined race (African-Americans) and downplays the role of Biblical literalist/fundamentalist interpretation of scripture. What needed to be clear is that the rejection of the evidence supporting evolutionary science is driven by religious fundamentalism, not being an African-American. From 1993-2004, the National Opinion Research Center data recorded responses concerning the question: “Human beings developed from earlier species of animals.” Responses differed with Doctrinally Conservative Protestants, 76 percent, Black Protestants, 66 percent, and Mainline Protestants, 45 percent, answering “definitely or probably false” to this item respectively. This of course means that 24 percent, 34 percent, and 55 percent of these groups answered “definitely and probably true” to this question1.
Therefore, a proper title to the Feb. 14 piece would have recognized the diversity within the African-American community as opposed to stereotyping it as having a uniform “strained” relationship with evolutionary science. I would have entitled the piece: “Religion plays a prominent role in the differential acceptance of evolution by African Americans.”